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Adventist Hinsdale Hospital brings new hearing health to local woman

Hinsdale – Josephine “Jo” Arado had many wishes for the new year. She had been laid off from her job in the pharmaceutical industry over a year ago, after 11 years with the same company. Her husband, Rob, is on disability after suffering a stroke in 2007. In the fall of 2011, severe health problems added to her worries.

 

The Lake Villa resident was being treated for an ear infection by her primary care physician, but not responding to antibiotics. Her primary care physician referred her to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist, who ordered a CAT scan. The scan revealed that Arado had a tumor-like growth – known as cholesteatomas – in both ears. She was referred to Dr. Richard Wiet, a specialist in neuro-otology and founder of the Center for Hearing Restoration and Ear Research at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.

 

The growths had to be removed, but surgery meant a possible hearing loss. It was a crucial consideration for Arado, because she had lost the hearing in her right ear as a child. The cause of the loss isn’t known. Losing the hearing in her left ear meant a grim prognosis. But Wiet was not deterred.

 

“Dr. Wiet told me that he wanted to try to restore the hearing in my right ear first, before operating on the left one,” Arado said. “He never made any guarantees, but he always gave me hope.”

 

Surgery with no further hearing loss became Arado’s fervent wish for the new year. What she got was more than she dared hope for. The surgery at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital was so successful that it restored the hearing loss she had endured since childhood.

 

Wiet called Arado’s outcome “remarkable.”

 

“The surgery exceeded our expectations not only by resulting in no additional hearing loss for Jo, but also by restoring her hearing,” Wiet said.

 

In early November, Wiet removed the growth from Arado’s right ear and inserted a titanium device, restoring hearing in her right ear to a near normal level. In late December, he removed the growth from her left ear. The left side was more complicated, as the growth was wrapped around bone, but Wiet was able to peel it off. Wiet also grafted a new eardrum and was able to preserve normal hearing in the left ear. After the surgery, Arado did not experience any loss of hearing.

 

“After so many years, I was used to not hearing out of my right ear. Now I hear in stereo,” Arado said. “I can hear what other people take for granted. I can hear the rain and the ticking of a clock. This was my New Year’s wish, and I got it.”

 

Arado also had praise for the staff at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.

 

“As a Jehovah’s Witness, I have made the personal decision to refrain from blood, including blood transfusions,” Arado said. “I notified my nurse, the registrar, the anesthesiologist and Dr. Wiet. Everyone was supportive and assured me my decision would be upheld. That meant a lot to me.”

 

Arado still faces the uncertainty of being unemployed. She hopes to return to a job in the pharmaceutical industry. Now she can continue her search with her hearing intact.

 

“I appreciate how Dr. Wiet and the staff at the hospital worked with me,” Arado said. “In every aspect it’s a happy ending. If I had to do it over again, I would go to the ends of the earth to have this outcome.”

 

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.

 

Media contact: Lisa Parro, senior public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, Lisa.parro@ahss.org; 630-856-2354